Lexington senator wants cultural diversity in suicide prevention training

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Sen. Reggie Thomas, a Lexington Democrat, has prefiled legislation to incorporate cultural diversity as a topic in suicide prevention training programs.

Bill Request (BR) 499 requires that information for social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, pastoral counselors, alcohol and drug counselors, alcohol and drug peer support specialists, psychologists, and occupational therapists.

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“There are many factors to consider when it comes to suicide,” Thomas said. “This bill will strengthen training by including aspects of identity and taking into account age, disability, gender, race or ethnicity, religious or spiritual orientation, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and other cultural aspects.”

BR 499 would ensure the model list of training includes programs that pertain to cultural diversity and would be specifically noted somewhere in the title, objectives, curriculum, symposium, workshop, seminar, course, or activity.

The main topic of the training would not need to be on a wide array of cultural diversity topics, but one of the objectives or descriptions of the topics covered would be part of the training.

BR 499 will be considered when the General Assembly convenes for the 2021 Regular Session in January.